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Jeff Koons & Ilona Staller’s (Cicciolina) “Made in Heaven”


Jeff koons & Ilona Staller’s (Cicciolina) “Made in Heaven” © Jeff Koons

You’ll either find it awful or brilliant. You may regard it as exceptional art or just see it as plain porn. There’s no middle ground or gray area with this series.


The ‘Made in Heaven’ series successfully eliminated the distinction between art & porn, broadcasting porn as genuine art, especially when made by one of the most well-known contemporary artists.


Many thought this series would lead to Jeff Koons’s downfall, but he proved them wrong. Made in Heaven helped him to become one of the most expensive living artists.


Jeff koons standing in front of works from his banality series at Sonnabend Gallery, NY, 1986. Image © Thomas Hoepker / Magnum photos. Art © Jeff Koons


Koon's 2004 Balloon Dog, which sold for $58.4million. {Art © Jeff Koons}

The Making of Heaven Began in 1989, it included paintings, sculptures, and prints, ranking among Koons’s most polarizing bodies of work.


The art series focuses on Koons’ relationship with famous Hungarian-Italian pornstar (turned politician) Ilona Staller, often called Cicciolina ("little chubby one"), and includes large photographs that resemble movie posters, as well as sculptures of them having sex.

The main idea was simple - to tackle the boundaries of what art was considered to be.



Pornstar Ilona Staller "Cicciolina ".

Staller was also an Italian MP who once offered to have sex with Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein if he freed hostages.

The motive to make Made in Heaven was derived from Koons’s examination of human behavior and how the human body is often seen as an object of guilt and shame. Koons was all about celebrating one’s own acceptance. And so was this series. Made in Heaven turned out to be a major success and was constantly talked about. This was Koons's goal after all.


Made in Heaven by Jeff Koons {Credit: dire.it} © Jeff Koons

GILLENEA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES © Jeff Koons

© Jeff Koons

Blurring the boundaries between fine art and pornography © Jeff Koons

Center Pompidou, Paris, November 25, 2014 (ELODIE DROUARD / FRANCETV INFO) © Jeff Koons

SILVER SHOES, 1990 {Credit:.widewalls.ch}

WOLFMAN, 1991 {Credit: widewalls.ch}

PONIES, 1991 {Credit: widewalls.ch}

BLOW JOB-ICE, 1991 {Credit: widewalls.ch}

RED BUTT (DISTANCE), 1991 {Credit: widewalls.ch}

RED BUTT (CLOSE UP), 1991 {Credit: widewalls.ch}

Koons persuaded Staller to collaborate with him on this project after seeing her in a porn magazine, he flew to Rome and went backstage to meet her after one of her notorious stage performances involving a live snake. Their romantic relationship began during the making of Made in Heaven. They rapidly fell in love and ended up having a son called Ludwig.



Credit: thetimes.co.uk


However, “Made in Heaven” was not meant to last.

Long story short, they got divorced a little over a year later, and she fled to Italy, even though Koons was granted official custody of the child. During the legal custody dispute, Koons destroyed numerous artworks from the Made in Heaven series since Illona found them too pornographic (ironic much?).



Staller often claimed that she felt unsafe with Koons, and that she was scared of his power, money, and lawyers.

But his custody battle with Cicciolina wasn’t his only legal faceoff. Throughout the years, Jeff Koons faced several lawsuits concerning his artwork. He has recently been slapped with another lawsuit on his reuse of a stage-like setting for some works made for the Made in Heaven series.


Michael Hayden claims in his lawsuit that Koons committed infringement and is therefore requesting a hold on sales of the “Made in Heaven” artworks that feature his sculpture.


In celebration of Made in Heaven's 20th anniversary, Luxembourg & Dayan chose to present a redux edition of the series. The Whitney Museum also exhibited several of the photographs on canvas in their 2014 retrospective.


Jeff Koons: Made in Heaven Paintings, 2010. {Credit : IDEANOW.ONLINE}

{Credit : IDEANOW.ONLINE}

{Credit : IDEANOW.ONLINE}

{Credit : IDEANOW.ONLINE}

{Credit : IDEANOW.ONLINE}

{Credit : IDEANOW.ONLINE}

{Credit : IDEANOW.ONLINE}


{Credit : IDEANOW.ONLINE}

{Credit : IDEANOW.ONLINE}



{Credit : IDEANOW.ONLINE}

{Credit : IDEANOW.ONLINE}

{Credit : IDEANOW.ONLINE}



Images courtesy of WIDEWALLS

Book Images courtesy of IDEA




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